Vice President Mike Pence, who leads the White House coronavirus task force, showed up at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota on Tuesday without wearing a protective mask, violating the clinic’s policy amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Politico reporter Dan Diamond posted a video of a mask-free Pence visiting a patient:
PENCE flouts Mayo Clinic policy that everyone on campus wear a mask, even as he meets with staff and a patient. pic.twitter.com/kfo64KQDhU
— Dan Diamond (@ddiamond) April 28, 2020
Shortly afterward, the clinic tweeted that it had told Pence about its mask requirement in advance.
“Mayo Clinic had informed @VP of the masking policy prior to his arrival today,” the account wrote, then deleted the post.
And Mayo Clinic deleted it's Pence mask tweet … pic.twitter.com/3LHP7fcmbe
— Tom LoBianco (@tomlobianco) April 28, 2020
Pence press office did not immediately respond to request for comment.
The vice president immediately came under fire for flouting the policy.
The Trump administration has treated the pandemic like a PR or political problem, not a public health problem. Pence is modelling behavior against health guidelines in a hospital with a patient. What message does that send? Every signal counts when the stakes are this high. https://t.co/XCJXL17Vdw
— Brian Klaas (@brianklaas) April 28, 2020
In Pence’s visit to the Mayo Clinic, he was trying to show us how “tough” he is—but just showed his arrogance, lack of concern for others, and vanity. pic.twitter.com/ZsCi70p6Pb
— Tulsi Gabbard 🌺 (@TulsiGabbard) April 28, 2020
The CDC's mask guidance is designed to protect everyone else from the wearer. Everyone is protecting Mike Pence in this video, without him returning the favor.
The Trump administration is now wearing their disregard for everyone else on their faces, instead of wearing masks. https://t.co/qpF2C4ILow
— Kendall Brown (@kendallybrown) April 28, 2020
When you don't wear a mask, especially inside the Mayo Clinic, you are not being brave. You are showing that you think the rules don't apply to you. And you are setting a dangerous example by ignoring experts.
— Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) April 28, 2020
Probably the first time Mike Pence has ever said no to Mayo https://t.co/D22sDAD8k2
— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) April 28, 2020
President Donald Trump said in early April that he would defy recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to wear a mask while out in public.
“I just don’t want to wear one myself,” Trump said. “It’s a recommendation.”
“Somehow sitting in the Oval Office behind that beautiful Resolute Desk, the great Resolute Desk, wearing a face mask as I greet presidents, dictators, kings, queens…I don’t know, I don’t see it for myself,” he continued.